Mole de Mayo!

I wanted to give all of my Chicago City Veggies a head's up about a super festival this Saturday, taking place right down the street from moi! It's Mole de Mayo: a Mole Cook-Off and Outdoor Festival and takes place this Saturday, from 12 - 7pm, at the intersection of 18th Street and Paulina.

Not only is my PBS girl-crush, Alpana Singh, going to be in attendance, but my friends at FIG Catering and Nuevo Leon - who are both located right in the neighborhood - will no doubt be impressing the festival attendees with some fancy mole!

Unfortunately, I'm stuck driving Dorothy to the Cubs game (don't ask) or I'd be there right at noon, ready to taste test the versatile Mexican specialty sauce. This sounds like something you don't want to miss!


South America Greek Salad

Guest blogger Smitty here. I recently took a vacation to Peru, Bolivia and Chile and I promised City Vegetable I'd take some food pics. As an aside while I get those posts together, just wanted to share a pic of this nice little Greek salad I had in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. They used 2 leaves of the iceberg lettuce as the bowl to hold all the Greek salad goodness. Delicious, beautiful and refreshing - perfection! More to come!

Katherine and Jon - Morsel Time

Katherine and Jon - 2 Peas in a Pod
Ages: Classified
Occupation: Also Classified
Resides in: Additionally Classified...kidding, Evanston

1. Favorite band with some sort of food in its name:
Smashing Pumpkins... pre-reunion, before Billy totally ruined the name.

2. Give us your favorite vegetable and how you like it prepared:
Spinach - Sauteed or as a salad

3. If you could only eat 1 flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mint Chocolate Chip baby!

4. Favorite food show:
Does "The Deadliest Catch" count... LOVE me (KTK) some Crab! [ed. note - creative and yes, it counts!]

5. Please describe your ideal 2 am drunken feast:
Burritos (if they're from Arturo's) or Pancakes and... French fries :)

6. Favorite steak-house side dish:
Garlic Mashed potatoes with lots of pepper

7. If you live in Chicago, give us your favorite restaurant here in
Chi-town. If not, share with us the number one spot in your city
So, we'll go with King Crab on Halsted Street, BUT we know it will be Kuma's as soon as we go there!

8. How do you take your coffee?
With a bit of French vanilla cream

9. Top 3 condiments:
• Horseradish (KTK only)
• Spicy mustard
• This wicked Mango Salsa from Costco!

10. How do you like d'em apples?
Apple pie a la mode!


A Cubs Rap

Finally! A post from my favorite rapper, Peen, in honor of the Cubbies and the wonderous world of stadium food. She starts it off, Wesley Willis style...
This is a rap dedicated to my favorite past time
Cubbies baseball kick-starting up my spring rhyme (hit it Brendan)

It was opening day...9th year in a row
Cold, rainy, and dreary but I was there 4 sho

We start every year at 9am sharp
Mimosa's, Bud Lights, and bloodies 'til they took off the rain tarp

Clark and Addison is where the drunken feast erupted, at 36 degrees
Two Old Style's apiece and nachos with jalapeƱos and of course pump cheese

It's getting really cold by the second inning,
I get two more beers...why? Because the Cubs are winning!

Wrigley's got a new pretzel and I hear it's 4 lbs in weight
We opted for the hawt dawgs and more beers (maybe a mistake?)

It's about the 5th inning and Lindsay cannot feel her hands
I cannot feel my face so we opt for more Wrigleyville shenanigans

Sluggers is where we head for skeeball and to watch the rest of the game
Had more beers and put in a Phil Collins request cuz the crowd was lame

Cubbies slam the Rockies, 4 to zip!
This was a prime opportunity for another food/drink trip

Hopped in a cab north to grab some more dranks and can barely see
Order up two large Stella's, garlic fries, and a BLT

I eat the same...I drink the same...and it's always crappy weather,
This is most of what I remember but each year it gets better.

There was a lot of all-American cuisine consumed and a lot of baseball lovin'
A lot of of Cubbie high-fives and a ton of beer chuggin'

What more could you want from this day every year?
Come with next time - and buy me a beer!


Spaghetti (Organic Sprouted-Wheat Pappardelle Pasta) and (Soy) Meatballs

After a long, long, long (long) week at work, I needed to refuel myself with a hearty bowl of comfort food. And what's more comforting than a big steaming plate of spaghetti and meatballs! Or in my case, Organic Sprouted Wheat Pappardelle Pasta with Soy Meatballs! Ha!

You might be wondering what exactly sprouted wheat pappardelle is. Pappardelle is an extra-wide fettucini, and sprouted wheat pasta is essentially a super wheat pasta.

Makers of sprouted grain pastas claim many health benefits for those who choose to pick the (usually) brown noodles - from weight control to protection against heart disease. I don't know if these health claims are true, but I do know that the sprouted wheat pasta is delicious - thicker and a bit chewier than traditional pasta, it adds a heartiness to any dish.

So with one trip to Trader Joe's and a can of diced tomatoes, you too can eat like a hippie!

Organic Sprouted Wheat Pappardelle Pasta with Soy Meatballs
Large can of diced tomatoes
One bag of Trader Joe's Sprouted Wheat Pasta
One bag of Soy Meatballs
Two cubes of Dorot Frozen Garlic
Two cubes of Dorot Frozen Basil
Onion Powder
Red Pepper Flakes or Kirmizi Biber
Mozarella cheese for garnish
Olive Oil

1) Bring water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
2) While the pasta is cooking, combine the tomates, garlic, basil, soy meatballs, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper in a saucepan. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

3) Combine with pasta and sauce, cook for 1 minute
4) Plate, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with mozarella cheese

Close-up of the Dorot frozen garlic and basil cubes. I am obsessed with these and think they're genius.



Allison's Morsels

Enjoy the morsels of my Texas lady and oldest friend, Ms. Allison:

Age: 27
Occupation: Aesthetic Laser Saleswoman Extraordinaire
Resides in: Dallas, TX

1. Favorite band with some sort of food in its name:
Oh Lord……Shan, throw me a bone...the Cranberries?

2. Give us your favorite vegetable and how you like it prepared:
Squash - fried of course

3. If you could only eat 1 flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Rocky Road

4. Favorite food show:
Iron Chef America

5. Please describe your ideal 2 am drunken feast:
Chicken fried steak with cream gravy, hand cut French fries and fried okra

6. Favorite steak-house side dish:
Loaded baked potato

7. If you live in Chicago, give us your favorite restaurant here in
Chi-town. If not, share with us the number one spot in your city
Toast, the one that serves alcohol :)

8. How do you take your coffee?
Cream and 1 sugar

9. Top 3 condiments:
• Miracle Whip [ed note: you're so southern!]
• Ranch Dressing
• Worcheshire

10. How do you like d'em apples?
Baked with cinnamon and sugar!


Be Back Soon

It's been one of those weeks and I'm ashamed that I haven't been able to share any food lovin' with you all. But I'm off to Dayton, OH for my fabulous friend Dawn's wedding so you know you'll see a wedding food recap soon. In the meantime, Rufus is keeping an eye on the site so don't piss him off...


Dream Food Alert!

I randomly ended up at Dunlay's on Clark and Wrightwood on Saturday night. As I sat in a cozy booth at the lively bar-restaurant, perusing the menu, I immediately honed in on this dish:

You may wonder what you're seeing here. It's home-made crisp potato chips, charred a bit on the edges(oh yeah), covered in bleu cheese bechamel (um yes), fresh bleu cheese crumbles (yay) and Tabasco sauce(yowza). It was heaven on a plate.

2600 N. Clark Street

City of Vegetables

Artwork by Anthony "Anchovie" Diaz


Frango Time

There is a hidden gem on the 7th floor of Macy's on State Street. No I'm not talking about Rick Bayliss' Frontera Fresco, although I am obsessed with his tortilla soup. I speak of the little known Frango Cafe. Yes Frango, as in the old Chicago go-to, the Frango Mint.

Frango Mints originated in Seattle in the early-1900s but in 1929, the then Marshall Field's on State Street, bought the company and began to produce the chocolate mints on the 13th Floor of their store. So now, 6 floors below where the classic was made, many years ago, you can eat at the Frango Cafe. I'm such a sucker for things like that!

Frango Cafe has cozy booths (which will be an entire chapter in my "things restaurants should have" book), filling plates of delicious sandwiches and salads, and affordable prices. If you're downtown, and sick of Potbellys or Chipotle or Gold Coast Dog (holla!), head over to Macy's, ride the chocolate-express elevator straight to the 7th floor and get ready for a surprisingly delicious meal! (and all you Marshall Field's lovers-Macy's haters, don't let a little grudge get in between you and some yummy lunch)

These are seriously my favorite chips ever. Besides Cool Ranch Doritos...

I order this every time I go - a filling Greek Salad. The only thing missing is a few anchovies.

A classic club with a heaping of coleslaw

Frango Cafe
111 N State St.
(312) 781-1000


Davey K's LA Morsels

David Kobzantsev
Age: 20-something
Occupation: Actor/Burger Slopper
Resides in: Los Angeles, CA

1. Favorite band with some sort of food in its name:
Um, Shiny Toy Guns? Yeah, little kids eat shiny toys all the time - then choke. Jeez! I'm failing this thing already.

2. Give us your favorite vegetable and how you like it prepared:
Brussel Sprouts - shredded, sauteed, salt, pepper. Duh-lish-us!

3. If you could only eat 1 flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mashti Malone's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream. It's like God came down to earth and churned it himself.

4. Favorite food show:
Julia Child. God bless her little heart. I cook just like her! Bottle of booze in hand (and mouth) at all times.

5. Please describe your ideal 2 am drunken feast:
Moi-Drunk? No way...! Honestly, I don't like to eat when I'm drunk. Seriously- when it's that point in the evening, I just want to be loved. Hold me.

6. Favorite steak-house side dish:
Lobster mashed potatoes. Mastro's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills. I'm salivating.

7. If you live in Chicago, give us your favorite restaurant here in
Chi-town. If not, share with us the number one spot in your city
Well, let's face it Shan: When we all lived together in Chicago we were poor starving college kids. That being said, Chicago wise, Demon Dogs hands down. I could never love another wiener. Hot Dog! [ed. note - R.I.P.!]

LA Style: Koi - best sushi and sashimi ever. Even though the door guy there is a $%%^&@@! [ed. note - Remember when we went there and the best celeb sighting was Mark Cuban!!]

8. How do you take your coffee?
Coffee!? Yah Right. Green Tea all the way baby!

9. Top 3 condiments:
• Jalapenos
• Pickles
• Pumpkin butter from Trader Joes (yes, I am a pregnant woman in disguise.)

10. How do you like d'em apples?
Green, sliced, inside a cinnamon raisin peanut butter sandwich with honey - grilled to gooey perfection.


Weird Menu Item of the Day

Take a look at this delivery menu, found in my door today, from El Ranchito. It may look like your standard Mexican delivery joint, but upon closer look, check out what you get with any order of $30 or more...

A Free Gallon of Milk! Totally Random. Next time I need milk for my coffee, maybe I'm ordering from El Ranchito...


Tigercity loves Fake Gold

For all my NYC readers out there (hi Clancy!), don't forget to check out Tigercity tomorrow night at the Highline Ballroom. They killed at the Double Door last Saturday night so don't miss it. And check out the interview I did with them last year about tour food and Chi!